Sunday, October 24, 2021

Marshall's and Winner's Holiday Gift Ideas and a Haul!

I was in need of some serious retail therapy, so I hit up my local Marshall's and Winner's stores. Luckily I have both stores 5 minutes from my house. 

I needed to restock my hair clips (shown near end of this post) that I use for sectioning my hair when styling and for when I do my highlights as all of my previous ones had broken. Luckily, I found a set of them at Winner's. As you'll see, I found many other great deals and fabulous finds that I'll share with you here. They are already getting some great gift sets in stores for the holidays!

Note: Everything I purchased will be shown at the end of this post.

Let's see what I spotted in my local Marshall's and Winner's stores...

These gorgeous boots are by Aldo. I definitely would have snatched them up when I was younger. I very rarely wear heels anymore, so I left them for another lucky person.

I spotted this adorable mug in the checkout aisle. It was only $4.99. Marshall's and Winner's always have the cutest mugs.

I thought these 7 For All Mankind camo ankle rainboots were adorable. They were on sale for only $24. But since I already own a pair of rainboots, I also left these behind.

I spotted these Union Bay combat boots at the first store that I went to. They seemed like great quality and I have wanted a pair of boots just like these for a few years now, so I went to another store, found my size and scooped them up. I wear between 8.5 - 9 depending on the cut. The 8.5 fit me perfectly in these, so if you are between sizes, I would probably go with the smaller size.

I'm not really sure how I ended up in the sock aisle as I didn't think that I needed any socks. πŸ˜„ Turns out that I did. When I saw these socks with the padded heel, I realized they might be just what I needed for my shoes that cut up my heels. I ended up finding the same type of socks by Skechers and went with those ones because I felt that the Puma's were too sporty for the shoes I wanted to wear them with. But, I would def. go with the Puma's for a more sporty shoe. Price $12.99 for 6 pairs. Skechers were $9.99 for 6 pairs.

This ring light (similar) was unexpected but a great find. $29.99

There were quite a few of these cute Snuggle Buddy plush toys (similar) that you can microwave and use to warm yourself up. This would definitely make a great gift for the chilly person in your life.  I believe they were $19.99.

This set of Oasis 7 foot masks (similar) would be a great gift for anyone who could use a little pampering. This set includes 4 masks (2 peeling, 2 moisturizing) for $12.99.

This Estee Lauder Travel in Color gift set is a great deal at $29.99 and would make a great gift for the beauty lover in your life.

Gift sets shown here by Tocca and Laneige. Laneige is super popular right now and would be a great gift for the skincare enthusiast. Tocca $16.99/ Laneige $34.99.

This Clinique gift set is another item that would make a fabulous gift. Can't recall the price on this one but I'm pretty certain it was under $30.

What a great find this Mac set was! Any die hard Mac fan would love it. I believe it was $19.99.

Here we have a Clinique Acne clearing gift set as well as Glam Glow's Hydration Love Fest Set.

This Shiseido gift set would make a great stocking stuffer. I've never tried this brand but I definitely should. My Mother always used Shiseido back in the day.

I'm always interested in trying new hair products, especially anything geared towards "anti-breakage." This would also make a great gift for someone you know who struggles with damaged or brittle hair.

Rude Cosmetics Bite Me Eyeshadow Palette includes an eyeliner as well. Rude Cosmetics is very affordable and good quality. I've been seeing them a lot lately at Marshall's and Winner's. Great stocking stuffer for the makeup lover in your life.

All of these hair tools looked so enticing from Conair to Chi, I want to try them all! The makeup mirror (similarlooks fabulous too.

I love Marshall's and Winner's for their Haircare products. They have a lot of high end products at greatly reduced prices. I didn't even know that Dr. PawPaw had a hair treatment and I'm curious about it! I used to use the BioSilk Silk Therapy back in the day, I should probably try it again.

Another great gift idea with this heating pad. I personally can't live without mine. If I didn't have one, I would def. have scooped this one up.

Marshall's and Winner's is also a great place to find all-natural products like the Giovanni hair products shown above. It's also a great place to find a large selection of all-natural deodorants and other bath products.

Here are some more high-end skincare gift sets, including Eve Lom which I've heard so much about. 

And, more hair tools that look pretty amazing! I'm very curious about the Hot Tools hair styling brushas I have the Revlon one, but rarely use it as I find it quite hot and thus damaging.

This Cortex Beauty Beyond Styler hair styling set is VERY intriguing! It retails for $250 CAD!  It is giving me Dyson vibes but much cheaper. It was around $50 or $60.

Here's a glimpse of one endcap full of beauty storage ideas, gift sets, and quite a bit of Marc Jacobs Beauty including their blush, bronzer, and highlight trios for only $24.99!

Below is what I ended up purchasing. Yes, I went a little ham on refreshing my nail polish collection and sports bras. And to think, I only went in for the hair clips πŸ˜… 

KMS Moist Repair Hair Conditioner on clearance for $10 / Retail $47CAD!
Foxy Bae Leave in Hair Mask on clearance for $8 (My current favourite leave in conditioner- full review linked here)
OPI nail polish in Barefoot in Barcelona $6.99
China Glaze Nail Polish in Kill the Lights $4.99
Orly nail Polish in Coming up Roses $4.99

I found so many amazing deals on sports bras! I wear sports bras as my daily bras and to sleep in so I couldn't pass these up for $5-$7 per bra!

Pictured above is a 2 pack of Reebok (RBX) sports bras on clearance for $10. The retail tag says $58 and that is probably in USD. I sized up for a comfy fit.

Pictured above are 2 Puma sports bras. (similar) Both were on clearance for $7 each! Similar I sized up in both for a comfy fit.

This Rae Dunn sports bra was on clearance for only $6! (Unable to find online).

I'm definitely stocked up on sports bras for a while. I saw many others name brand sports bras on clearance for the same prices that I paid. It was very tempting to purchase them all at such great prices!

Last but not least, here are the Union Bay Hayden boots that I purchased for $49.99 (retail $60 USD) and the Skechers socks (similarfor $9.99

I hope you enjoyed this "shop with me" so to speak. Next time, I really have to get some clothing pics as well as some photos from other departments. There was just so much in store. I am definitely going back. There are some candles that I need to pick up and I wouldn't  mind checking out some of the bedding. But the clearance racks will always be my favourite spot to check out! 

Happy Shopping! πŸ›’

#lovemarshalls #winnersfabfinds

*Some links are affiliate

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Dangerous Beauty Hacks Gone Viral | TikTok Beauty Hacks to Avoid


Board-Certified Washington, D.C Facial Plastic Dr. Michael Somenek breaks down the most popular Tik Tok beauty hacks that you should steer clear of.

According to recent statistics, the viral app Tik Tok has reached over 1 billion monthly users. (Source: With several beauty trends going viral on a daily basis, it can be tempting to experiment with these DIY and less expensive solutions than in office cosmetic surgery visits. However, some of these hacks are at best ineffective or down right dangerous.

Face-lifting patches

What is it?

‘Face-lifting patches’ are plastic adhesives used to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles overnight. The purpose is to use tape to constrict the muscles in your face and limit their motion to minimize wrinkles. This is an overnight ritual that requires you to sleep with the tape on, keeping you from frowning or making any expressions during your sleep. Wearing it all night is also said to prevent creases caused by sleeping on your front or side.

Why you should steer clear:

Tape considered strong enough to stay in place throughout the night isn’t made to be safe on the skin and can cause redness, irritation, and acne breakouts. The adhesive has to be incredibly tight and therefore, uncomfortable to use for an extended time to hold the muscles still. There is even a risk of ripping off a layer of the skin as you pull off the piece of tape. This can cause a tear in the skin barrier, and the trauma could result in underlying pigmentation or leave you at risk for a bacterial infection that could potentially scar. In theory, these facial patches should work as they keep muscles in place while you sleep, not allowing them to wrinkle as you move throughout the night. However, they can have the complete opposite effect when it comes to reducing fine lines and wrinkles. When you tape your face to hold muscles still, you’re preventing them from working, while adding resistance. In doing so, you’re training your facial muscles to work harder and, in turn, become more powerful. As they get stronger, it accelerates the formation of those fine lines and wrinkles you were hoping to avoid.


Pore Vacuuming

What is it?

This is an at-home device that is put out by various different companies. It gained traction during the pandemic when many people could not visit doctors for elective treatments. The goal of these tools is to extract dirt, debris, and sebum from the skin in order to reduce blackheads and pore congestion.

Why you should steer clear:

If you have seen videos, it is evident that users saw instant redness. If you don’t know how to set the device appropriately for your skin, putting the volume up to higher settings won’t necessarily remove more blackheads, but it could leave your skin looking as if you just got a hickey. Those with skin issues such as rosacea especially need to proceed with caution. The vacuum can exacerbate these conditions and cause untoward side effects like broken capillaries and bruising. This can even occur with those who simply have sensitive skin. Even if the device is effective, the pores will eventually re-fill again, and preventing this from occurring via this tool is too much wear and tear on the skin.


Sunscreen Contouring

What is it?

The original viral video has a resurgence this past summer. Model Eli Withrow posted a TikTok video where she has sunscreen applied on different parts of her face.  She states: “Haters will say it doesn’t work. I’m convinced that if you put a base sunscreen of SPF 30 on, and an SPF 90 on all the spots that you would put highlighter on, the sun will contour your face where you’d put bronzer, and you’ll be natural snatched all summer.”

Why you should steer clear:

There is no way to predict how the sun tans various parts of your face. All areas of the face don’t get the same amount of sunlight. Attempting to control your sun ray exposure through mixing SPF levels is illogical.  Radiation bounces off sand, water, and cement hitting the face at different angles.  Not only might you not get the “J-LO glow, but you could also get patchy sunburns. While the idea is meant to use tan lines to contour the face, you are risking your skin from a cosmetic standpoint and health-wise in the form of skin cancer. This is not worth the quest for a temporary (at best) contour.


DIY Lip Filler

What is it?

Once again, another pandemic-fueled aesthetic trend. One way people attempt to do this at home is through at-home kits to inject their own lip filler through tools called Hyaluron pens. These use pressurized air to force filler into lips instead of needles which are used in a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist’s office.

What you should steer clear:

The lips are filled with nerve endings and they swell and bruise very easily. More worrisome than that is improper injection can result in blocked blood flow. Non- physicians don’t have the skills to treat these complications before they lead to serious damage.  In addition, since this is not regulated by the FDA, you have no way of knowing what products you are putting into your lips. Even without a substance going into your lips, other methods that use suctioning tools to create a temporary bigger pout can be dangerous as well.

Michael T. Somenek, MD

Board Certified Washington, DC  Facial Plastic Surgeon


Dr. Somenek received an undergraduate degree in microbiology at the University of Miami and a medical degree at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He stayed on at this prestigious institution for 5 more years of postgraduate training in otolaryngology or the study of the head and neck. He then completed an intensive fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery under the tutelage of world-renowned facial plastic surgeons Dr. J. Regan Thomas (past president of the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) and Dr. Dean Toriumi at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Somenek is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. As an author of multiple peer-reviewed journal articles, textbook chapters, and presentations at national meetings, he has contributed extensively in his field.

Dr. Somenek also performs a variety of minimally invasive procedures, both surgical and non-surgical. Surgical options include facial liposuction, the endoscopic brow lift, and the S Lift. These techniques require only very small incisions but can have a dramatic effect on a person’s appearance in the hands of a qualified surgeon with a trained aesthetic eye such as Dr. Somenek. Dr. Somenek’s intensive training in the complex structures of the face, head, and neck make him stand out among plastic surgeons in Washington, D.C. He is a trainer and teacher to other physicians across the country on all injectables and frequently sees patients that need an expert opinion. Even for less invasive procedures such as BOTOX® Cosmetic injections, he can use his broad knowledge to administer precise treatments that exceed each patient’s expectations.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Rocky Baby Face Sprague My Angel on Earth

My beautiful angel on earth πŸ˜‡ you are loved and adored more than words can ever say! I love you to the moon and back and around the world, infinity times! You're my everything and my reason. I love you so so much! πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’– (πŸ“· October 5,2021)

You took care of so many, so selflessly.  You are needed by so many but your life was cut short. I tried to keep you so healthy so you could have a very long and happy life. I was certain that you'd make it to the world records of one of the oldest living cats because I tried to take such good care of you from day 1! 

You saved my life when I rescued you from a shelter in 2007, the year you were born. You made so many people happy and brought so much joy. You always took care of me when I wasn't feeling well. You were feisty and a bit wild on the outside but the biggest sweetheart on the inside. 

We started this blog together one sleepless night in 2015. You were always by my side and we did everything together ❤  I'll forever miss the fun we had together from playing patty cake (aka pat a cake), and pinch pinch, playing with toys, doing brush, singing to you (which you loved), and I know how obsessed you always were with your arches!

You gave me an unbelievable feeling of love and happiness when I was with you. No one and nothing else gives me that feeling. I long for it so so much! 😭

You will always be my Rock, my Rockstar, my little star, my babe, my baby, my lovey, my sweetheart, my little darling, my pumpkin, my snookerdoodle, baby yawner, my reason, my everything!!! πŸ’–πŸ’“πŸ’Œ

And you will always be loved, needed, and wanted! And, you will always be my sun, my moon, my stars, my everything! πŸ’“

Rest in peace my beautiful boy πŸ˜‡ 
Rocky Sprague February 20, 2007 - October 6, 2021.

"I won't be long. I promise! Wait right there. Don't go anywhere!!

🎢 We belong together forever and ever, we belong together forever and a day. 🎢 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Oh, No! Do I Have Fatty Liver Disease?

So, you think you may have fatty liver disease. There are some basic questions to ask yourself: are you fatigued all the time? Do you experience nausea often? Are you thirsty all the time? Or are your eyeballs turning yellow? If you answered yes to some of these questions, you should consult your gastroenterologist. Also, if you are obese or overweight, have Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome or are a heavy drinker, you may be at risk of developing fatty liver disease. But let us give you some insight into fatty liver disease, its symptoms, how to get tested and your treatment options.


What is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease occurs when fat builds up in your liver cells, which prevents it from working normally. A healthy liver contains a small amount of fat. Fat becomes a problem when it reaches five to 10 percent of your liver’s weight.


While the disease is common, it is a severe illness that can lead to liver failure. Liver failure can affect many of your body’s organs. Without treatment, both acute and chronic liver failure may eventually result in death. Fatty liver disease may be caused by obesity, diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) or HIV infection.


Good news: fatty liver is largely preventable by taking steps to decrease your risk of the diseases that cause it.


What are the Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease?

The symptoms of fatty liver disease include fatigue, weakness, weight loss or poor appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes) and swelling in the legs and abdomen due to fluid accumulation. Although fatty liver disease does not always cause symptoms, you should be aware of any unusual feelings, such as pain on the right side under your rib cage, which could indicate inflammation on that side of the liver.


How Do I Get Tested for Fatty Liver Disease?

The diagnosis of fatty liver disease includes a physical exam, blood tests to measure the level of enzymes in your blood and imaging scans such as ultrasounds or CTs to detect fatty tissue on the liver. The blood tests reveal markers associated with fatty liver, which are alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) and total bilirubin.


What are the Common Treatments for Fatty Liver Disease?

If you are diagnosed with fatty liver disease, your doctor may treat you immediately or refer you to a specialist. Treatment of fatty liver disease focuses on stopping the progression and improving existing symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), itching, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain due to inflammation in the upper right abdomen and fatty build-up.


Treatment for fatty liver disease typically involves lifestyle changes such as losing weight, getting more exercise and eliminating alcohol consumption. If you are overweight or obese, your doctor may prescribe medications to help you lose weight. The medicines can be diet pills that decrease appetite, reduce hunger pangs between meals, increase the feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food or even block the absorption of fat by your intestine.


Treatment may also involve taking medications to control diabetes, cholesterol and triglycerides.


Still have questions about fatty liver disease or other gastrointestinal issues? For more information on liver conditions and treatments, contact Gastro MD. We are a cutting-edge clinical gastroenterology practice that sets the standard in digestive health care.

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